Antiques in a window (David Gluns photo)
Tiny Alert Bay is rich enough in history to warrant two museums. An internationally renowned U'mista Cultural Centre and a civic museum chronicling the evolution of Alert Bay.
Alert Bay Museum
Next door to the Visitor Centre on Fir Street, the Alert Bay Museum is a colorful one-room museum known for its historical photographs (more than 7,000 in all) and memorabilia. Missionaries, loggers, fishermen, merchants, and doctors all played a role in the Alert Bay's evolution, and some of their stories are highlighted. The booklet, History of Alert Bay and District (1958) is on sale at the museum. While out of date and rife with politically incorrect language, it does tell the town's back story neatly in 100 pages.
1 Museums in Alert Bay
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1 Front Street
Alert Bay, British Columbia
Potlatches were banned in Canada between 1885 & 1951. Since 1922, some of our most treasured masks & ceremonial objects had been in the hands of museums in Canada, England & the United States, taken away at a time of great sorrow when a law deemed the potlatch was illegal. After years of effort, many of the confiscated treasures were successfully repatriated to their rightful owners, the Kwakwaka'wakw, & are now housed carefully in the U'mista Cultural Centre, called' The Potlatch Collection'.
The U'mista Cultural Centre Gift Shop is internationally known for its wide selection of authentic Kwakwa_ka_'wakw fine art, crafts & souvenirs.